Twiga Foods has let go of a third of its employees. Contrary to rumours, the company has not shut down its operations in Uganda.

E-commerce food distribution company, Twiga, is undergoing operational restructuring due to tough market conditions, a process that will lay off a third of its 850 permanent employees. The changes that Twiga has made are not sudden. The company’s CEO, Peter Njonjo, told TechCabal that Twiga has been “on a transformative path in the last few months to become a lean, agile, cost-efficient organisation, undertaking several interventions to adopt and sustain the business during these economic times.”  To this end, Twiga reviewed its operating model and cost to “ensure organisational structure is fit for purpose”.

Njonjo also denied rumours of the closure of Twiga’s Ugandan operations. “There is no closure of operations. We continue to operate in Uganda and our farm is operational,” said Njonjo. Yet, the latest layoffs will affect employees across all markets. An estimated 267 people will be made redundant, and Twiga said they will be compensated according to labour laws. “Twiga will offer severance packages in full compliance with applicable labour laws,” said Njonjo.

In June, TechCabal reported that Twiga adjusted its commercial model, ditching its internal sales team in favour of independent contractors who are retained on the basis of their performance. It points to a company looking to cut costs wherever it can. “The business has undertaken strategic operating adjustments to enhance its service delivery capacity over the past few months. This has been influenced by the current business environment where people’s purchasing power continues to decline,” Twiga said in a statement.

Twiga will continue to operate Twiga Fresh, a food farming and distribution vertical it launched in May 2022. Backed by a $10 million investment, Twiga Fresh cultivates onions, tomatoes, and watermelons on a 650-hectare farm in Taita Taveta. “Twiga continues to operate its farm. We have been running the farm operation for a year now, and we continue to incorporate our learnings,” Njonjo said.

When TechCabal asked how Twiga is rebuilding confidence among its investors and customers, Njonjo responded, “Our investors are fully supportive of this transformation with the objective that Twiga is continuing to provide affordable good and services to our customers into the foreseeable future.”

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